Let’s get real. This is a man who ranked number 7 in parade.com’s 2007 “Top 20 of the World’s Worst Dictators” list, and number 6 in 2008’s. A man who has, singlehandedly, driven a once prosperous country into an economic downfall that rivals few other nations. In fact, Zimbabwe ranks tops for the world’s highest inflation rate, at 100,000 percent! Despots never go quietly into the night, they fight tooth and nail to hang on to the power and glory they’re accustomed to; by legal or illegal means. Look how long Fidel Castro lasted. Vladimir Putin ensured his continuing lust for power, by merely switching leadership positions. Hugo Chavez is in it for the long haul. There are too many others to mention, but they will all do what is necessary to retain control, and in those countries that lack democracy, anything goes, including jailing and killing opposition leaders.
In spite of major losses in Zimbabwe’s parliament, and an obvious presidential loss, Mugabe is calling for a runoff. In fact, today his police raided a hotel housing the offices of Movement for Democratic Change, whose secretary general Tendai Biti claims:
“We maintain that we have won the presidential election outright without the need for a runoff.”
Although, he generously conceded they would participate in a runoff if need be. Another hotel, frequented by foreign journalists, was also raided and several of them detained. Biti stated,
“Mugabe has started a crackdown.... it is quite clear he has unleashed a war.”
Claiming this was only the beginning of worse to come, he was very clear about the opposition refusing to go into hiding:
“You can’t hide away from fascism. Zimbabwe is a small country. So we are not going into hiding. We are just going to have to be extra
No-one seems to mention why the reporters were targeted, but I surmise it has something to do with the fact that Mugabe’s government barred many international news organizations from covering the March 29 elections which, of course, makes sense. No tyrant leader wants reporters to witness the rigging of elections.
We shall see what transpires over the next few days, but it more than likely will not be pretty.
According to Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) a NY Times reporter, Barry Beark, was arrested for “violation of the journalism laws.”